Brief Introduction

If you are new to Mata Ortiz pottery, prepare to be amazed at the artistry in the village. They dig their clay and natural minerals from the mountains and rivers. There are no potters wheels - every piece is made by forming long coils and then pinching and scraping to form the pot. Sanding and smoothing get the pot ready to paint. The bristles on their brushes are made from children's hair. No templates, just lots of concentration and years of practice allow them to paint incredible designs. They build a fire in the backyard and fire the pot for about 35 minutes.

This artwork is in museums, galleries, and personal collections around the world.

And now it's time for you to become connected to this incredible work.

Welcome to the

Mata Ortiz Connection

In the 1500's the Spaniards discovered a magical village in what is now Chihuahua, Mexico, that they called Casas Grandes. Big Houses was an apt name for the 2,000 rooms that were discovered. In the Nahuatl language Paquimé means "big houses". Paquimé's population civilization flourished 1200 - 1450 AD, also referred to as the Medio Period.

From this ancient vibrant population center along the continental divide comes a renewal of the pottery created in the ancient days.

A nearby village called Juan Mata Ortiz now is the center for incredible artwork that gets its inspiration from the ancient peoples of Paquimé.

Many visitors to Paquimé and to other Medio Period sites, including Chaco Canyon and Mesa Verde, enjoy discovering the T-shape doors. Luz Elva Gutierrez has captured this shape in one of her pots. It's available in our shop! Check it out!